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  Argentina : Destinations : Aconcagua Provincial Park

Aconcagua Provincial Park


Aconcagua Provincial Park

The Aconcagua Provincial Park was founded in 1983, under the Provincial Law Number 4807. The park is situated 180 Km (112mi) east of Mendoza, in the region of Las Heras, and only miles east of the Chile border. The park covers some 71,000 hectares (175,444 acres), protecting an important sector of the central Andes, with its main attraction being the Aconcagua Mt, with its peak reaching 6,962 meters (22,841ft), making it the tallest mountain in the Americas.  The zone stands out because of its glaciers, like reservoirs of sweet water, holding archaeological remains inside. 
The origin of the name Aconcagua derives from the Quechua "Akun-ka-agua", which means "Sentinel of Rock".

The region is characterized by being arid and rocky, with tall peaks, permanently covered in snow. The vegetation is scarce and covers the hills until 4,000 meters (13,123ft) in altitude, with such herbs as coirón, and shrubs such as yellow brushwood. The animals in the region are also scarce and demonstrate special adaptations to combat the dry conditions. One of the most common birds is the majestic condor, also called the King of the Andes. 

This region gained historic value because General Don Jose de San Martin crossed over it in 1818, to liberate Chile from Spanish rule, as part of his conquest for independence. Later, on January 14, 1897, Matías Zurbriggen, a member of the Fitzgerald expedition, reached the summit, being the first person to do so. Since then, mountaineers from all over the world come in the summer time to scale the defiant walls and reach its peak. 

 

Location
Province of Mendoza. Located 180km (112mi) from the city of Mendoza. 
When to go
All year long. 
Attractions
Aconcagua Mt, Horcones Lagoon, Plaza de Mulas or Plaza Francia.
How to get there
From Mendoza take Route 7. 
Activities
Excursions, camping, climbing, mountaineering, trekking.
Services
Accommodation, food, transportation.
Surroundings
Cacheuta hot springs, Valley of Potrerillos, Uspallata, Punta de Vacas, Tupungato Hill, Puente del Inca.
Climate
The climate is cold with permanent snow. The rainfall accumulates to 100-200mm (4-8 inches) annually. 

 

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